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VIDEO CLIPS - Camera help needed!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by XavierG, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. I desperately need advise on producing video clips (instructional bass) on the cheap.
    I am currently using a Logitech Messenger to shoot the short video clips. Am very displeased with the video quality. Am using software called "Video Edit Magic" to spice up the clips, but the end result, even if I save to "High Quality" video is less than remarkable. My question is this... Is there anything short of a "real" video camera that I can use to get better results? THIS is the best video quality I've been able to get. I'm interested in maybe a better quality "web cam" that can record crisper & clearer video. Anyone?

    P.S. Also, what are your thoughts on the type of video format I should save to for the web, and any software suggestions to accomplish all this.
  2. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Good playing!

    The picture quality is very webcam-ish indeed.... I don't know if any web cameras like that will give good quality video. I've seen very good video from the Apple iSight but I don't think you can use it unless you use a Mac (which I assume you don't, seeing that your video clip is .wmv).
    However, assuming that you do have a decent video camera, it is important to have good lighting. Neither camera nor editing can remedy bad lighting.

    As for web video formats.... I've used mpeg4 compression quite a bit - it seemed to give best quality compared to file size. Recently I've started using the h.264 codec which is utterly amazing - even better than mpeg4 IMO. And from now on I'll be using the iPod h.264 video standard - makes for easy organizing in iTunes and iPod compatability. And it looks, and sounds, very good.
  3. Thanks for your reply, elros. Very informative!

    I've heard that the best "web cam" for the job (on a PC) is probablly the Logitech QuickCam Fusion. It's supposed to record at 1.3 megapixels, which I'm told is pretty good for a web-cam. I have no idea what my QuickCam Messenger does in terms of megapixels. I always thought mega-pixels had to do with still pictures - never heard of a webcams quality judged in terms of megapix, but then, I guess a video is just many still pics put together. I just don't like the fact that the pic (on my video) is so grainy and seems "blurry" or almost off focus. Lighting could be an issue, as I had a desk lamp aimed at me, and that's all.

    Feedback from anyone with experience with the Logitech QuickCam Fusion would be most welcome.

    Thanks again.
  4. joninjapan


    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    You can still take advantage of Quicktime Pro... for about 30 bucks...of course if you are just broke, well go with what you got.

    I always could find a friend who had a camera that wasn't in use, even some digital still cameras have video in/out ports... ask around, better to borrow than to buy... when your low on dough.
  5. Thanks, joninjapan. It's not so much "budget" issue as it is a practicality one. I don't really have any other need for a video cam. A web cam, on the other hand, is something that gets used a lot at home, so I'd rather spend the money on a good webcam that will get used often, than a video cam that will get used occasionally.

    elros, I've been playing around with lighting and found that, as you suggested, I am getting a much clearer video after trying (my version of) the 3-point-lighting method. I'm pretty sure that, with some tweaking, and maybe with a better web cam, I'll get acceptable results. Thanks again! Now all I have to do is work on the audio.
  6. joninjapan


    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    XavierG, I went through the trying to decide on a web-cam or a DV camcorder... went with the camecorder. I use it as a web cam too, it has overall better quality and when I need to use it for other things it's there!!! it is the lowest cost JVC DVcamcorder. QuickTimePro 7 allows seperate inputs from audio and video sources, very handy. I use it for live video recording video from camera, sound from the mixer.